Nursing Book Review Essay Paper on 12 years of a Slave

12 years of a Slave

  1. In the story 12 years a slave, one can identify two-family structures. The family structures include extended family and young parents. When Solomon was taken slavery, he had a wife and children. This illustrates the aspects of a younger parent with young children. During the period, Solomon was respectable in the society.  Later, when Solomon was freed from slavery, he finds that her daughter was married and she had a child. Considering the immeasurable joy, they all hanged representing an extended family.  As seen in the film, younger families are parents with small children. There is a social stigma attached to the children.  The children deserve adequate financial and emotional support (Lillis, LeMone, LeBon, & Lynn, 2010).

On the other hand, extended families represented by Solomon return to his home imply the strong bond created between relatives who do not stay under one roof.  Thus, the extended family structure depicts a high degree of cohesion among family members including the uncles, aunts, and cousins.  Spirituality is an important aspect in the family. Solomon and other slaves were to read the bible and sing praise songs to God.  In spite of the rampant racism in the country, there were legal efforts made to free the slaves (Boyd-Franklin, 2013). In addition, the slaves were taught how to read the scriptures improving their bond with God. The owners of the plantation cultivated by the slaves had power and food to trade and fed their families.  The ability to control the many slaves was crucial in meeting family obligations. Most of the owners also encouraged spiritual development, another significant resource for family development.

2. In the overall functioning of a family, various stressors influence the family. Some of the stressors include divorce, injury, traumatic events such as rape, loss of job, and loss of a loved one. In the case of 12 years a slave, the family of Solomon lost a loved one. The wife could not trace him and thus it was a bit tough her and her only daughter. They already had one daughter implying that the loss of the father affected both the child and the mother. Most importantly, Solomon vanished without informing the wife. This indicates that when one losses a person lead to increased family stress (Boyd-Franklin, 2013). After reuniting back, it is very different to maintain the family relationships. I would call for regular counseling and interactions to strengthen the bond between the family members. Solomon was supposed to learn leaving a new life without being a slave.

During the period of the film, the family viewed the stressors as all things and issues bringing about adverse effects in the family. On the other hand, today the family stressors are more inclined to the overall social problems in the society include loss of job.  The family is expected to work as unit to resolve any problem in the society. Solomon found his family in good shape due to the efforts based by wife, in his absence. Thus, people must learn to overcome all strengths and troubles on people lives (Lillis, LeMone, LeBon & Lynn, 2010).  As in the case of 12 years of Slave, the family suffered physical and mental health concerns in the society, Solomon was perceived to be unable to meet the mental functioning with the family. The overall strengths of the family is based cooperation and good cohesive among the family members.


Boyd-Franklin, N. (2013). Black families in therapy: Understanding the African American experience. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

Lillis, C., LeMone, P., LeBon, M., & Lynn, P. (2010). Study Guide for fundamentals of nursing: The art and science of nursing care. Philadelphia PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.